How to Keep Warm When Your Body Runs Hot

How to Keep Warm When Your Body Runs Hot

Whether it is just your natural state of being or there is a medical cause behind it, some people just run hot. This can be uncomfortable indoors or out, but it can be especially hard to deal with when you need to stay warm during cold-weather outdoor activities. You need all the same protection from the elements that every other human body needs, but there is also possibility that you will overheat, which can be worse than uncomfortable, it can be dangerous. This is an issue that affects me personally, and I am happy for you to benefit from my years of doing the legwork on how to keep warm when I run hot and love being outdoors all winter long.

Know Your Outerwear Needs

For several weeks each year, everyone I know will have pulled out their lighter winter coats, while I will wear a cardigan or blazer as a topper, but also wear cashmere-lined leather gloves and a hat. My core doesn't get cold as quickly as most other people's seem to, but my hands get very cold, very fast. A hat is an easy way for me to add cold-weather protection to an outfit without over-insulating my core, and it's a quick fix to pluck it off and tuck it away if I realize I don't need a hat or begin to feel too warm. Pay attention to your own body, noting your precise personal needs and triggers for getting both overheated and chilled, and build your outerwear wardrobe accordingly. For example, my own cold-weather wardrobe includes boiled wool and tweed blazers that most people wouldn't count as outerwear, and over a dozen pairs of gloves in various weights, styles, materials, etc. That's what I need; take the time to discover what you really need!

Choose Fabrics and Fibers Wisely

A good rule of thumb is to wear a wicking synthetic material next to the body, an insulating natural fiber over that, and an outer layer of either wool or synthetics depending on your activity, the weather conditions, your preferences and so on. This might seem counterintuitive, since so many people want to wear a cotton tank top or undershirt next to the skin for comfort, but cotton is absorbent rather than wicking, and wet cotton can chill a body dangerously. You want to keep wet fabrics away from your skin and keep your outer layer dry. This is a safety issue. One reason wools of all kinds make ideal winter clothing is that dry wool is breathable and wet wool maintains its insulating properties. Which brings us to cashmere. Cashmere is technically a wool but is so soft and lightweight it feels like wearing the dream of a hug! If I plan to be outdoors in the cold but not engaged in intense activity requiring performance fabrics, I will literally always reach for a cashmere sweater or cashmere cardigan. Cashmere softer and lighter than even fine merino wool and is about three times as warm. It's breathable and comfortable, keeping you cozily warm but very rarely over-warm. I can count on one hand the times I have overheated in cashmere, and there were always extreme circumstances; it is truly the ideal choice for people who need to keep warm though their body runs hot. As an added bonus, cashmere is elegant and beautiful. When you take off your outerwear, you will look polished, rather than undone as you might if you were wearing a decrepit college sweatshirt.

Layer, Layer, Layer!

As mentioned above, proper layering is a major component of keeping warm without overheating, so consider layering from several different aspects. Layer your clothing, synthetics next to the skin for wicking, natural fibers over that for insulation, wool or synthetics on top to keep dry. A quick Google can provide practically endless information on safe layering practices for serious outdoor endeavors, but that is the basic concept to know off the top of your head. Next, consider your outerwear on its own; is it layerable? You might consider a Lands' End Squall coat. These are coats that offer a few configurations so that not only can you layer your clothing, but you can also use the layers your coat for maximum versatility, too. It's a single purchase that will allow for the needs of a person who feels hot but needs to keep warm. Do you have a fleece for layering under a womens winter puffer vest? ait, do you have a puffer vest?! You may feel very comfortable in a fleece and a vest while your companions need parkas. Building a complete outerwear wardrobe is important for everyone, but especially so for those who have different personal thermoregulation needs than what most people experience. Lastly, think about your cold weather accessories; they are the last layer of your cold-weather ensemble. You might have a greater need for hats and gloves, as discussed previously, or know that as long as you have a good warm scarf to keep your neck and chest warm, you'll be comfortable. Know your needs, and plan for them!

People Who Run Hot Need to Keep Warm, Too!

Lots of people run hot; it's nothing you can't deal with. Identify your personal needs and taste, layer, layer, layer, shop and plan for your comfort and safety, and make the most of wintertime, when you can enjoy long stretches outdoors! With a little care and forethought, you can keep perfectly warm, even if your body runs hot.


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